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Never on Sunday means...always in the Mountain West?

by Tom Scott

Bio | Follow: @thescottslant


Posted on May 24, 2010 at 7:50 AM

Updated Monday, May 24 at 7:50 AM


Monday, May 24, 2010.
If Boise State happens to become a member of the Mountain West Conference in 2011 (and there are still some presidential minds to change along those lines), you would think Brigham Young University will still be there. BYU president Cecil Samuelson, in an e-mail to the Salt Lake Tribune, clarifies the school’s stance on playing or practicing on Sundays. Ain’t gonna happen, says Samuelson. Even if a bigger conference lays that down as a make-or-break item in issuing an invitation to the Cougars to join. "We are grateful for the NCAA's accommodation for us and any other institution that chooses not to play sports on Sundays, and we won't change our policy on Sunday play for any reason," Samuelson said in the Tribune. It’s hard to fathom, say, the Big 12 or the Pac-10 creating a “Sunday exception” just for the sake of getting BYU into its league.
For the record, the Tribune did ask Samuelson if BYU supports inviting Boise State to the Mountain West, and he declined to respond. We are now 10 days away from the MWC presidents’ meeting in Jackson Hole, where Boise State’s near-term fate may be decided. The hopes of Bronco fans have been raised dizzyingly the past week and a half. But it’s still too early to put anything in the bag.
Chadd Cripe’s thorough analysis of the Mountain West situation in the Statesman contains the key to the whole deal. The words that may be ringing in the ears of Bronco Nation came from Cripe’s interview with Utah president Michael Young, who said this of Boise State academically: “It's not, in terms of its trajectory, where some of the other schools are in our league." That could tell us a lot about what’s going to be bouncing around the conference table next week. 
BSU president Bob Kustra, who hasn’t talked about the Mountain West since before the Fiesta Bowl, is probably doing some low-key, behind-the-scenes lobbying to conference presidents as we speak. Anyone who will listen. Kustra is not having to explain the Broncos’ 122-20 football record the past 11 years, nor reiterate their domination of Mountain West schools during that time. But he does have to sell Boise State’s “trajectory.”
The Cincinnati Cyclones didn’t need an historic performance to win the Kelly Cup. After becoming the first ECHL team in history to rally from a three games-to-none deficit, they made rather quick work of the Idaho Steelheads in the Finals, putting the Steelies away four games-to-one Friday night with a 2-1 victory in Cincinnati. The Steelheads never recovered from the shock of last-minute Cyclone game-winning tallies in Games 1 and 2 at Qwest Arena. Every game of the series was decided by one goal, which is just the way Cincy wanted it. The Cyclones were 10-2 in one-goal games during the playoffs.
The Steelheads’ loss was the ECHL’s gain in the stands. The league is reveling in the fact that its largest market, Cincinnati, produced the biggest crowd ever to watch an ECHL playoff game, as 13,438 fans made U.S. Bank Arena nothing short of electric Friday night. The Cyclones fed off that, as they say they were about out of gas entering their 24th playoff game of the spring. And they did not want the series to return to Boise. "We didn't want to go back there,” said Kelly Cup co-MVP Robert Mayer in the Cincinnati Enquirer. “It's a hard flight and it would have been hard on us." Instead, according to the Enquirer, they were able to close down Fat Cats Dueling Piano Bar on Pete Rose Way with the Kelly Cup in tow.
Davey Hamilton didn’t have to sweat out Bump Day at the Indianapolis 500 yesterday, as his place in the field for the 2010 race was comfortably secured Saturday. Hamilton hit a top speed of 224.8 miles per hour during Pole Day to qualify in the No. 14 spot, in the middle of Row 5. Hamilton said at Paddock that the most stressful day is now behind him. “Getting the car ready for the toughest thing we do,” said Hamilton. “It’s tougher than any race. This will be my 10th time here, and it’s crazy. It’s not easy. We ran into a few problems and didn’t get out for the early practice, and the guys did what is normally a two-hour change in about 40 minutes just to get me out to do some practice.” But all’s well that ends well, and Hamilton will be on the track this Sunday at the Brickyard.
Overall, a successful venture for Treasure Valley schools during the single largest championship-deciding weekend of the year. From the team titles by the Eagle boys and girls track teams to the individual exploits of guys like Capital track star Kasen Covington and Boise tennis ace Garrett Patton, the valley was a lot more prominent in spring sports than it was in basketball this year. And it’s not over yet, as the coldest May 22 in history forced the 5A baseball championship game between Timberline and Centennial to tomorrow night at Memorial Stadium—and the 4A title clash matching Bishop Kelly and Bonneville to late this afternoon in Twin Falls.
This Day In Sports…May 24, 2002:
Boise’s first legit hockey star, Cal Ingraham, hangs up his skates after four seasons with the Idaho Steelheads. Ingraham’s final appearance was Game 6 of the Taylor Cup Finals, a classic contest won 3-2 in double sudden-death overtime by the Fresno Falcons. Cal ended his career as the Steelheads all-time leading scorer (175 goals) and the only player in WCHL history to score 50 goals in three straight seasons. He also turned the fastest hat trick in league history, scoring three times in 1:15 in a game against Colorado in 1999. 
(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment Sunday nights at 10:30PM on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 1350 KTIK/The Ticket. He’s also handled color commentary on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football the last five seasons.)